Monmouth

Monmouth's Monnow Bridge

Henry Rolls & Shire Hall

First published in Town guides

Monmouth (Trefynwy) sits at the confluence of the rivers Trothy, Wye and Monnow, and it is from the Monnow that it takes its name. Its population is 7,379.

Reminders of the town's history are never far away. A market is held in the cobbled Agincourt Square in the centre of the town. which is surrounded by a number of Tudor and Georgian houses and coaching inns. Most prominent amongst these is Shire Hall. Built in 1724, it displays a statue of Monmouth-born Henry V, the victor of Agincourt.

Another Monmouth boy-made-good, was Charles Henry Rolls, co-founder of Rolls-Royce. The first person to make a non-stop double crossing of the English Channel, he is commemorated with a bronze statue in front of Shire Hall, designed by Sir William Goscombe John.

The Nelson Museum can be found on Priory Street, just off the square. Charles Rolls' mother, Lady Llangattock, can be thanked for it's unique collection of memorabilia of one of Britain's most famous seafarers. As an admirer of the admiral, she amassed an enormous collection which is displayed here.

The Great Tower, birthplace of Henry V, is the sole remainder of the castle, which was almost completely destroyed during the Civil War. Built from bricks salvaged from its ruins, the seventeenth-century Great Castle House is now the headquarters of the Royal Monmouthshire Regiment of Royal Engineers (Militia). The building also houses the regimental museum.

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At Monmouth the Monnow is crossed by two Monnow Bridges. The ancient bridge, built circa 1272, is the only surviving medieval bridge in Britain with a fortified gatehouse actually on the bridge. The gate was added circa 1300. In the mid-1800s the bridge was widened.

Acknowledgements: Hando's Gwent, Chris Barber ed. Blorenge Books Gwent County Council Guide, 1992 A Guide to Historic Wales (Glamorgan & Gwent) - Elizabeth Whittle The Rough Guide to Wales Pictures courtesy of Monmouthshire County Council

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